Third policy on Families office

NZ Herald September 12, 2008

National leader John Key now says it is “likely” his party will fold the Office of the Children’s Commissioner into the Families Commission – the third change of tune he has had over the commission in a week. In questions after his speech to the Every Child Counts conference yesterday, Mr Key said that while formal policy was yet to be released, “the commissions are likely to be merged together”.

A week ago, in a speech to the Family First group, Mr Key indicated National would ditch the commission, but later appeared to back down, saying it would be “rebalanced”. Yesterday, that changed again, to a “likely” merger with the Office of the Children’s Commissioner – a repeat of National’s 2005 policy. He said some of its research and advocacy work was important and would be retained, but other work was “quite low value” and the money would be given to organisations directly working with families.